Reigning in the sound |

Reigning in the sound

BRECKENRIDGE – Drummer David Watts of the Motet has always thrived on having no boundaries when it came to music. But now, he’s taking a new approach.

He wants to create a framework for a new sound that has a more distinct personality.

“I want it to be recognizable and have people who hear our music instantly recognize, ‘Oh, that’s the Motet,’ so I have to keep it within certain boundaries,” Watts said. “It comes from my own need to be consistent as a writer and composer. And I think it’s good for the group and the audience to see consistency.”

Apparently, Watts realized that boundary-breaking bands can lose their sound in a swirl of cosmic improvisation and genre fusion.

But, he doesn’t regret any of his past exploration.

“Going to those places created who I am as a writer and a player and who the rest of the players are,” Watts said.

And, even in their musical journeys, the band always maintained a focus:

“No matter where we’ve gone, we’ve always made the groove a priority,” he said. “We’re more about an audience dancing. It’s a drummer’s group, so that’s the roots of what we do. It’s groove music.”

Currently, the Motet is letting loose with songs revolving around Afro-beat and jazz chord changes.

“We’re trying to expand that concept of the Afro beat – a combination of funk, jazz and African rhythms. We’re just taking that and putting our own harmonic twist on it.”

The world beats and hard grooves of the Boulder-based band still takes on new formations in live shows, blending lively Latin jazz textures, well-placed dirty funk grooves and West African and Cuban drumming.

Percussionist Scott Messersmith brings his knowledge of Brazilian, Cuban and West African styles, while Greg Raymond guides the peaks and surges of the jams on the organ, piano or Fender Rhodes.

Bassist Garret Sayers, formerly of Boston, grounds the low end.

The latest additions are Mark Donovan on guitar and Dominic Lalli on tenor horn, which adds more depth and clarity to the melodies.

The Motet plays tonight at Sherpa & Yeti’s. The cover charge is $5.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User